It is a topic that divides all of us — when is it acceptable to really get into the festive spirit? Some start listening to Mariah Carey and Slade as soon as the calendar hits November, some remain stony-faced until well into December.
But I challenge anyone, even the most staunch anti-Christmaser out there, to attend the Christmas markets and not feel festive. Dotted about around the centre, there are areas of the Christmas markets to be found from Albert Square to the Printworks, and various side-streets in between.
It is also not just mulled wine and the now almost eponymous Yorkshire pudding burrito on offer, there is a huge range of goods available from various stalls.
It is probably only fair to start with the Yorkshire pudding burrito that you cannot have missed on Facebook day in, day out for the last month.
A Yorkshire pudding the size of a dinner plate served up with a choice of meats and all the trimmings, what is not to love? Slow-cooked meat, pulled and slathered in gravy with roast potatoes and vegetables, it is not hard to see why such an invention would take the north by storm, generating queues of up to 45 minutes just to be sampled.
It is almost beautifully simple to review, for we all know what a Christmas dinner tastes like, and we all know what Yorkshire puddings are like, and so it is very simple to envisage the successful combination that I can confirm this is.
The Yorkshire pudding is crisp and yet fluffy, the meat is soft and the gravy to top it off carries an excellent flavour, the only downside being the queues. It must be said I went at peak time, a Saturday afternoon, but did spend 45 minutes queueing up for something which took more like 45 seconds to eat.
There is much more to the Christmas markets than just the wrap though, of course. Who doesn’t love a warming glass of gluhwein (that’s mulled wine to you and me) to try and combat the Manchester weather, and with various German lagers and ales to be sampled it is very easy to find some of the ‘Christmas cheer’ that may be evading some of the more Grinch-like characters out there.
It is not like one has to get a Yorkshire pudding wrap either, with various burgers, hog roasts and bratwursts on offer for those who don’t want to wait.
It is true that to enjoy the Christmas markets to their full one may well have to accept it is a somewhat more expensive affair than your average student trip, but there is not much that can get you into the Christmas mood in quite the same way.